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What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen

Kate Fagan

Top 10 Best Quotes

“tiring, but it is not confusing. You are never left wondering if you’ve made the wrong choice, or expended energy in the wrong direction, because there is only the one rung above you. Get good grades. Get better at your sport. Take the SAT. Do volunteer work. Apply to colleges. Choose a college. But then you get to college, and suddenly you’re out of rungs and that ladder has turned into a massive tree with hundreds of sprawling limbs, and progress is no longer a thing you can easily measure, because there are now thousands of paths to millions of destinations. And none are linear.”

“One of the trickiest parts of social media is recognizing that everyone is doing the same thing you’re doing: presenting their best self. Everyone is now a brand, and all of digital life is a fashion magazine.”

“The pressure to be great, not good, is unrelenting. Believing that this pressure will simply disappear once kids arrive on campus seems like wishful thinking.”

“One study found that an average high school student today likely deals with as much anxiety as did a psychiatric patient in the 1950s. The numbers are eye-opening”

“Madison and her friends were the first generation of “digital natives”—kids who’d never known anything but connectivity. That connection, at its most basic level, meant that instead of calling your parents once a week from the dorm hallway, you could call and text them all day long, even seeking their approval for your most mundane choices, like what to eat at the dining hall. Constant communication may seem reassuring, the closing of physical distance, but it quickly becomes inhibiting. Digital life, and social media at its most complex, is an interweaving of public and private personas, a blending and splintering of identities unlike anything other generations”

“Living with a ghost is frightening enough, but if you change houses to escape it and the ghost is present in the new space, then you’ve confirmed that it’s not the house the ghost is haunting. It’s you.”

“Introspection means talking to yourself, and one of the best ways of talking to yourself is by talking to another person. One other person you can trust, one other person to whom you can unfold your soul. One other person you feel safe enough with to allow you to acknowledge things—to acknowledge things to yourself—that you otherwise can’t. Doubts you aren’t supposed to have, questions you aren’t supposed to ask. Feelings or opinions that would get you laughed at by the group or reprimanded by the authorities. This is what we call thinking out loud, discovering what you believe in the course of articulating it. But it takes just as much time and just as much patience as solitude in the strict sense. And our new electronic world has disrupted it just as violently. Instead of having one or two true friends that we can sit and talk to for three hours at a time, we have 968 “friends” that we never actually talk to; instead we just bounce one-line messages off them a hundred times a day. This is not friendship, this is distraction.”

“When Jim was growing up, good colleges were challenging to get into, but it wasn't like it is today, when being a solid, diligent student is no longer enough. Students today must display excellence -- not just competence --- in numerous areas. The pressure to be great, not just good, is unrelenting. Believing this pressure will disappear once kids arrive on campus seems like wishful thinking.”

“Digital life, and social media at its most complex, is an interweaving of public and private personas, a blending and splintering of identities unlike anything other generations have experienced.”

“And we're not just talking high school students; this practice of hovering often begins before they've learned how to write. Kids used to grow up in a neighborhood-- on the block or in the parks, playing games with other kids. These games had rules, but the kids themselves determined them, flexing their imaginations. Social scientists called these activities -- capture the flag, bike races, pickup baseball games -- "free play, " and it's been steadily decreasing since the 1950s. Scientists have also noted a correlation between the decreasing amount of childhood free play—any play not directed by adults—and the increasing rates of anxiety and depression among kids. As free play decreases, anxiety increases.”

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Book Keywords:

anxiety, college, stress, depression

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